The Story Behind the New Battlestar Galactica

I’m a big fan of the new Battlestar Galactica, the SciFi Channel original series which re-imagines the old 1970s TV show.  It explores war, terrorism, and religion, while remaining subtle and thoughtful.  From The New York Times Magazine:


“As in the original show, the humans of the Galactica and its fleet are relentlessly pursued by evil robots called Cylons. But in the current version, conceived by Ronald D. Moore and David Eick, most of the evil Cylons look like people and have found God. Ruthlessly principled and deeply religious, the Cylons have been compared by fans and critics both to Al Qaeda and to the evangelical right. And the humans they are relentlessly pursuing are fallible and complex. Their shirts are not clingy or color-coded; the men of space wear neckties. They are led by Edward James Olmos as the Galactica’s commander and Mary McDonnell as the president of the humans, and their stories revolve as much around the tensions within — between the military and civil leadership of the fleet — as they do around the Cylon threat. As Eick described the show to me last month with evident, subversive pleasure, ‘The bad guys are all beautiful and believe in God, and the good guys all [expletive] each other over.’ Moore, who is also the show’s head writer, put it more simply: ‘They are us.’

It is sometimes jarring to watch ‘Battlestar Galactica,’ for it is not like any science-fiction show on television today. Science fiction is a genre that, for all its imaginative expansiveness, tends also to be very conservative; its fans sometimes defend its cliches fiercely. ‘Battlestar Galactica’ upends sci-fi cliches.”